By 2050, almost 70% of the Russian river fleet will have to be written off

The ships are ageing faster than they are being replaced.   
Inland water transport in Russia is in a sorry state, President Vladimir Putin admitted at the State Council's presidium in August 2016. Although the dynamics of the renewal of ships is growing, but the number of outgoing ones is much greater. For comparison: in 2000 the total number of river vessels reached 20 000, now there are only 11 101. The average age of almost one third of them is more than 40 years, their further exploitation threatens the safety of navigation and is associated with high accident risks. Only by the age of 2035 will have to write off 2737 ships, and until 2050 - another 6779, follows from the data of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC). According to the preliminary estimates of the company, by 1735 it is necessary to build 1,775 vessels worth 1.08 trillion rubles, by 2050 - 4,900 vessels worth 2.02 trillion rubles.

Without state support, it is difficult to implement the fleet renewal program, said Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov at the State Council presidium. According to him, the most effective tool for stimulating domestic shipbuilding is the program of subsidizing credit rates and leasing payments for the purchase of ships. According to it, until 2025, approximate financing from the state may amount to 368.69 billion rubles., Said at a meeting on Wednesday the president of USC Alexei Rakhmanov. By 2035, these investments will bring more than 226 billion rubles. tax effect, since 2026 will ensure the loading of shipyards through financing from extrabudgetary sources, and each budget ruble will provide an increase in investment in construction by almost 5.5 times. According to him, because of the reduction in passenger and freight traffic, the replacement of the entire fleet may not be necessary. True, the development of the Silk Road route (from China to Europe via Russia) can return 20-30 million tons of cargo to the Volga, he added.

Cargoes will really come, but in 10-15 years the north of the country can still remain without a fleet because of retirement, the professor of the All-Russian Academy of Foreign Trade Andrei Golubchik noted. Companies are unprofitable to invest in a fleet that only works 3-4 months a year, and its payback exceeds the service life. The only solution to the problem is subsidies, but the existing ones are not enough. Especially the acute problem of the fleet on the Yenisei, Volga and Lena, the expert added.

State support measures have emerged, but they are not enough, Konstantin Anisimov, the general director of the Moscow River Shipping Company, believes: "Now almost all the revenue of shipping companies is spent on leasing payments."

On the leasing of passenger ships in 2016-2017. The Ministry of Industry and Trade allocated almost 6 billion rubles, in the amendments to the federal budget for 2017 and for the planning period of 2018 and 2019. in addition, it is planned to provide 1.2 billion rubles to the authorized capital of USC for these purposes, the representative of the ministry specified. But these funds, he said, will go for the construction of ships for operation in the Azov-Black Sea basin. There is another measure to support shipbuilding - a ship investment grant, which will start operating in the fourth quarter of 2017, said Boris Kabakov, director of the department of shipbuilding and marine technology at the Ministry of Industry and Trade. "We have already concluded seven agreements on a utilization grant. But the funds allocated for these purposes are small (in the budget, up to 2020, almost 1.2 billion rubles.). Leasing was also planned to allocate more funds, but the idea did not find support. "

In August, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has already announced an additional requirement for financing the state program "Development of shipbuilding and equipment for the development of offshore fields for 2013-2030," said a representative of the agency. The proposal was not supported, the federal official knows. The Ministry of Transport has increased the budget funds, in particular, to the recycling program - these measures lead to an increase in budget revenues, a representative of the agency said, he did not name the sum.